5 Powerful Payroll Software Suites to Every Restaurant Needs

“Payroll is fun and easy to do,” said no one ever.

As anyone who’s ever had to run payroll for a restaurant knows, making sure people get paid on time and accurately takes a lot of time and attention to detail. There are hours worked, taxes, paid time off, and so much more to take into account. It can be a real pain. It’s not like there’s a button you can push and it’s done.

Or is there?

As it turns out, there are a number of payroll software suites out there, some of which are designed specifically for restaurants, with hourly employees, irregular schedules, and whatever other complexities you can throw at it. The trick is finding the one that’s a good fit for your restaurant.  

As a busy restaurant owner or manager, we know you don’t have time to research which restaurant payroll software is best for you. That’s why we’re serving up this list of the top 5 payroll software for restaurants. Let’s dive in!

How can restaurants use payroll software?

Restaurants have a few specific needs that payroll software needs to address. These include frequently changing schedules, the need to track tips, having multiple pay rates, and accurately calculating tax withholdings, all while maintaining compliance with tipped wage laws.

The best payroll software for restaurants will streamline a significant part of the manual labor involved in running payroll. That often means automating processes, such as calculating time worked, taxes, and time off (paid or otherwise). Most importantly, payroll software should make it easy for you to pay your employees accurately and on time!

Payroll software should make running payroll easy. In addition to calculating what each employee needs to be paid, payroll software should generate pay slips, handle the actual payment, and run any payroll reports you might need to efficiently run your business.

The best payroll software will integrate with the other systems you use in your business. This often includes time tracking software, your restaurant’s POS, or other systems required to calculate what each employee should be paid in a given period.

It’s important to understand that most payroll software suites come in both cloud-based and on-premises versions. Of course, the majority of restaurants will opt for cloud-based, as it’s unlikely they want to maintain an internal server. Just be aware of this when shopping around and accidentally chose the wrong type! 

Why your restaurant needs payroll software

If you’ve been running payroll manually, you might be hesitant to transition to a payroll software. We get it: Change can be difficult.

But you’ll be amazed how integrating payroll software will simplify your accounting process and make your life easier.

Here are some other benefits payroll software brings to the table: 

Efficiency Boost. Payroll software can process your payroll much quicker than a manual system. As discussed above, payroll software can automate payroll tasks, such as integrating timesheets and calculating taxes and other deductions to ensure compliance.

Pinpoint Accuracy. Have you ever accidentally over or under paid someone because of a typo? Payroll software makes mistakes like these a thing of the past. With less manual work, you’ll make fewer errors, as long as things like hours worked, tax withholding, etc. are accurate.

Increased Security: Payroll software protects sensitive data through encryption and other security measures. You’ll never have to worry about privacy concerns again.

Streamlined Operations: Don’t you love it when things work smoothly? Payroll management software is designed to enhance and streamline your restaurant’s payroll processes, improving overall efficiency in data collection, payroll calculations, and employee payments.

Data Transparency: Payroll software systems centralize all payroll data in one place, making it easy to access and understand. With a clear view of your business’s financial ins and outs, your decision-making process is better informed and outcomes are easier to track.

Customizability: Every restaurant is a little different and has different needs. You need a payroll software solution that can adapt to your restaurant’s specific needs. Additional software features, reporting capabilities, and integration with other staff management tools can easily merge with payroll systems to create a comprehensive HR and payroll dashboard. As your restaurant business grows, you need payroll software that can handle an increased workload. Most software offers upgraded plans for more advanced features, allowing your payroll solution to grow with you.

Greater Control: Managing your payroll in-house gives you more control over your payroll operations from start to finish. And when things change, as they inevitably do, you want software that can easily modify payroll processes.

Compliance Support: One of the biggest challenges for any restaurant is staying in compliance with local, state, and federal laws. Payroll software that manages compliance is invaluable to helping you and avoid costly mistakes.

Employee Self-Service: Payroll software should allow your team to manage their portion of payroll tasks online, such as accessing their pay slips online or update their personal information. Letting them do this themselves eliminates the need for an HR or payroll department, or an outside service provider.

The 5 best payroll software for restaurants

There are lots of great payroll software options out there. We’ve picked out the top five that are perfect for restaurants. Whether you’re a 5-star fine dining establishment or a franchise chain, these tools make it easy for even the smallest restaurants to handle payroll like a pro.

Here are our top five choices for systems that will make doing your payroll a breeze.

1. Homebase: The Restaurant Payroll Software

We created Homebase for restaurant businesses just like yours. We know you’ve got a lot to juggle—so let us handle the payroll!

No more headaches tracking break times, clock-ins and clock-outs, and time cards—Homebase brings it all together in one easy system, simplifying the myriad administrative tasks involved in payroll processing. See your timesheets and payroll side by side to quickly understand your labor costs.

With Homebase, it only takes a few clicks to manage payroll from anywhere! Our mobile app lets you run payroll on the move—or you can set it and forget it with our auto-payroll feature. Direct deposit is a key feature, ensuring accurate and timely payments while enhancing security and convenience.

The best part? You can stop worrying about payroll compliance. Homebase automatically works out hours, breaks, overtime, wages, and taxes based on your local, state, and federal labor laws.

You can even set up paid time off policies and keep track of balances and accruals. And no more hassle with FLSA record-keeping; Homebase keeps your time card and payroll records safe and easy to find whenever you need them.

2.    Gusto

Gusto may not be exclusively a restaurant payroll software, but it certainly brings a lot to the table in terms of features, such as automatic payroll tax calculations.

Gusto is also recognized as one of the best restaurant payroll software options, offering comprehensive solutions for small businesses in the hospitality industry. It provides support across all 50 states and can handle multi-state payroll processing.

Plus, even the most basic service tier includes unlimited pay runs. It also offers a host of other handy features for your restaurant that help you manage your employees’ benefits or sending out satisfaction surveys.

3.    Paychex

Paychex provides a variety of subscription tiers for restaurants, each with specific features that can be added for an individual cost.

Paychex excels in payroll administration, managing payroll and benefits efficiently. Additional features such as tax management tools, wage garnishing services, and state unemployment insurance come at an extra cost. Paychex also handles income taxes, including calculating federal and state income tax withholdings for employees’ paychecks and managing various IRS forms related to reporting and paying income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes withheld from employees’ paychecks.

However, some features, like offering pay cards for your staff, can be added at no extra charge. While Paychex may not include tools for time tracking and benefits like some other payroll software, it can integrate with apps that assist with these tasks. Plus, you can get in-person help at locations throughout the United States.

4.    ADP Run

ADP might ring a bell for restaurant owners as a well-known payroll company. ADP Run offers a comprehensive payroll system that can streamline processes, boost efficiency, and ensure accuracy. It is particularly relevant to the restaurant industry, addressing specific needs such as efficient tip management, tax compliance, and employee scheduling integration.

ADP Run serves up a variety of payroll features, along with a selection of add-ons that can be tailored to fit your specific budget. For example, time tracking isn’t part of the basic payroll software but is available with the Workforce Management add-on.

While ADP Run isn’t specifically designed as restaurant payroll software, it could be a good fit for larger establishments. Its web-based payroll service makes it convenient to manage payroll for multiple locations.

5.    OnPay

OnPay offers both HR and payroll software at a single price, along with a standard set of features tailored for restaurants, like unlimited pay runs, payroll tax management, and direct deposits. It is a popular payroll software option for restaurants due to its comprehensive features.

OnPay helps manage restaurant labor cost effectively by providing tools for payroll tax management, direct deposits, and detailed reporting. It also provides reporting tools and the ability to export payroll data. What sets OnPay apart are its restaurant-specific tools, such as minimum wage tip makeup and overtime calculations.

The perfect free payroll software for your restaurant is just a click away

When picking the right payroll software for your restaurant, think about what makes your business special. Consider your headcount, the complexity of your payroll, and your budget first before comparing different software.

Ultimately, the best payroll software for your business will be one that not only meets your current requirements but also has the capacity to grow with your restaurant.

For a free payroll software designed specifically for restaurants like yours, Homebase is here to help. Get started for free and say goodbye to payroll hassles once and for all.

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